Two and a half months after Dr. Winifred Hamilton stepped down as Superintendent of Stamford Public Schools and Dr. James Connelly became Interim Superintendent, the government center’s fifth floor was abuzz with chatter as parents, educators, and community members warmly greeted Earl Kim, Hamilton and Connelly’s successor.
Once the meeting began, BOE President Geoff Alswanger announced that Kim would be filling the district’s top role for three years beginning July 1.
Kim was chosen from an applicant pool of 25, and progressed through three rounds of eliminations before being selected as the Superintendent. A Hawaii native, Mr. Kim spent four years in the Marine Corps after graduating from Cornell University, and then went on to earn a masters in domestic policy analysis from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Kim also worked as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in multiple districts in New Jersey before becoming Superintendent in Verona, New Jersey. He went on to serve in the same capacity in Montgomery Township, New Jersey before relocating to Hawaii to be the Head of Kamehameha School-Kapālama Campus. He also was a founding member of the Foundation Academy Charter School in Trenton, New Jersey.
After announcing Kim’s appointment, a number of Board members voiced their support for him. BOE Vice President Jerry Bosak said, “I really believe this is a turning point for the community.”
Member Jennienne Burke echoed Bosak’s support, speaking specifically about work Kim did that she hoped would continue in Stamford. “It was Mr. Kim’s work with developing character that really struck me and I look forward to [having that here],” said Burke.
Mayor David Martin, who serves as a non-voting member of the BOE, reiterated the district’s position. When speaking of an opinon piece written about Kim’s departure from New Jersey, he said, “I have never seen an editorial so complimentary.” Additionally, the Mayor expressed his excitement for Kim in a statement released by his office: “I am confident that Mr. Kim’s background and prior experience with diverse school districts and children will allow our district to thrive and grow.”
Once BOE members finished making their welcoming remarks, they yielded the floor to Kim, who spoke of what an “honor and privilege” it was to come work in Stamford.
In his speech, Kim spoke about working to ensure that “every [student] feels connected and valued.” Kim closed with an “aloha,” perhaps an indication of his vibrant leadership style as he enters his new position as SPS Superintendent